Clinical practice in paediatric nephrology is continuously evolving to mirror the research output of the 21st century. The management of antenatally diagnosed renal anomalies, urinary tract infections, nephrotic syndrome and hypertension is becoming more evidence based. Obesity and related hypertension is being targeted at primary and secondary care. The evolving field of molecular and cytogenetics is discovering genes that are facilitating clinicians and families with prenatal diagnoses and understanding of disease processes. The progression of chronic kidney disease in childhood to end-stage renal failure (ESRF) can be delayed using medical treatment to reduce proteinuria and treat hypertension. Pre-emptive living-related renal transplantation has become the treatment of choice for children with ESRF, thereby reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with peritoneal and haemodialysis. Although peritoneal dialysis, which is performed in the patient’s home, is the preferred modality for children for whom there is no living or deceased donor for transplantation, home nocturnal haemodialysis is becoming a feasible option. Imaging modalities with the use of magnetic resonance and computerised tomography are continuously improving. As mortality for renal and vasculitic diseases improves, the gauntlet is now thrown down to reduce morbidity with secondary prevention of longer-term complications such as atherosclerosis and hyperlipidaemia. Clinical and drug trials in the fields of hypertension, nephrotic syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis and transplantation are producing more effective treatments, thereby reducing the morbidity resulting from the disease processes and the side effects of drugs.
- ACEi, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- CRF, chronic renal failure
- ESRF, end-stage renal failure
- PKD, polycystic kidney disease
- RRT, renal replacement therapy
- SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
- UTI, urinary tract infections
- VUR, vesico-ureteric reflux
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